The brief from FCB Johannesburg was to produce a TVC that would entice young black people to travel South Africa; and to travel in the way they would like to, enjoying activities with their friends and feeling totally comfortable in places where they wouldn't ordinarily feel comfortable.
For young self-taught film-maker and photographer, and now Ola! Films
director Justice Mukheli, this was a break-through opportunity.
Mukheli had formed the successful photography collective, I See A Different You
, focused on conveying distinctly South African and African stories through a local lens while working in advertising. This experience stood him in good stead for the SA Tourism campaign.
"My work still strives to allow South Africa and Africa to tell its own stories. I love to create work that has a nostalgic feeling, a relatable feeling, a sense of newness and familiarity. Working on the SA Tourism domestic TVC was an amazing experience. The opportunity to create an advert that gives confidence to our people to travel this country their own way, spoke to me on so many levels," Mukheli says.
"We started the project as a team of people that were new to one another and took on the challenge of being in spaces we don’t belong in, and experiences we don’t normally have, as a team. The most beautiful and special thing about making this commercial was that our experience of making it ended up reflecting exactly the message of the ad."
With three producers, Mukheli, and Mfundo Mkhize to assist with capturing additional footage, Ola! Films director Olivia Leitch says Ola! were able to shoot in five of the nine provinces over ten excruciatingly long days coupled with vast distances and lengthy hours spent on the road.
Starting out at the Union Buildings in Pretoria via Ponte in Johannesburg, Tsitsikamma in the Western Cape, Bloukrans in the Eastern Cape and many more, before finally ending in Krugersdrop, the team filmed quad biking, ziplining, bungee jumping, cave diving, sandboarding, game driving and skydiving to demonstrate the wealth of tourism activities on offer locally.
Leitch says the success of the project lies in the creative generosity of the Ola! Films team, "This is a very collaborative company where there is loads of cross-pollination between teams and everyone pulls together to make things happen."
FCB copy writers Khanyi Mpumlwana and Vusi Khoza agree: "For us, the most important thing was working with a director who understood the subtexts and nuances related to the people we were talking to, and bringing them to life in a fresh and engaging way."
"Justice and the Ola! team have a collaborative spirit that enabled us to capture everyone’s vision, from the client down to agency team. It was a joy to work with them."
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